Winter storm in Midwest stops traffic, thousands lose power

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A winter storm sweeping across parts of the Midwest has snarled traffic in several states and left thousands without power.

The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies on Friday, then east into Missouri and Illinois, covering roads and making driving dangerous. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says nearly 300 vehicles had slid off roads across the state and more than 175 crashes had been reported by late Saturday morning.

By late morning Saturday, officials had reported nearly 11 inches of snow at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, where most flights were canceled or delayed.

In central Missouri, officials said about 12,000 households and businesses were without power in Columbia and the surrounding area.

The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for Missouri, as well as Illinois and Indiana.

The Illinois State Police says that troopers along the Mississippi River across from St. Louis have responded to more than 100 traffic collisions.

Trooper John Korando says one crash killed a 73-year-old man on Friday, but it's not yet known whether weather was a factor. The storm has contributed to at least five traffic deaths in Kansas and Missouri.

He says that since the snow began falling Friday, troopers in District 11 in southwestern Illinois have been called to 114 crashes and a total of 261 incidents, many of which involved vehicles that had veered off roadways into ditches.